Hong Kong retail entry appeal lags

The Hong Kong retail industry’s long-standing rivalry with Singapore took a minor hit to morale with this week’s launch of the CBRE Group’s report How Global is the Business of Retail?
Despite sluggish retail sales in both locations, and a string of brands exiting Singapore or contracting their store networks over the last year, the city state outranks Hong Kong when it comes to multinationals’ retail expansion into new international markets.
And both cities were beaten by Tokyo, a market hampered by falling retail spending after an increase in sales tax on April 1 last year.
According to CBRE, Tokyo is “the world’s hottest market for retail expansion”, attracting 63 new brands last year as leasing momentum in core areas remained strong, despite mixed signals in the economy.
Singapore is next with 58 new entrants in 2014 – double the number of 2013 – with entrants largely in the food and beverage sector, with apparel and accessories chains a little further behind.
Hong Kong finished fifth equal with Dubai on the list, still respectable given CBRE surveyed 164 cities in 50 countries.  According to CBRE 45 global retailers made their debut in the territory last year.
In between came Abu Dhabi and Taipei.

For foreign retailers entering Singapore for the first time, the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands ranked as their top choice of destination, largely due to the steady flow of affluent customers streaming to and fro the connected casino facilities.


Globally, mid-range fashion retailers are the most active category looking at new market expansion, accounting for 21 per cent of activity, just a little more than luxury brands at 21 per cent.
In Asia, luxury and business fashion retailers drove 24 per cent of the region’s business expansion, followed by coffee and restaurant retailers at 22 per cent.
Meanwhile, the report found that the primary expansion targets for America’s retailers are Asia (41 per cent) Europe (33 per cent), and the Middle East and Africa (12 per cent).

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